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Weekly Features

Booysendal North mine expansion to add 30 000 oz/y

By: Simone Liedtke     16th December 2016 The deepening of platinum producer Northam Platinum’s Booysendal North upper group two (UG2) mine is expected to add 30 000 oz/y of saleable 4E (platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold) product to the Booysendal mine when completed in 2018. 

Booysendal South to reach steady state in 2022

By: Simone Liedtke     16th December 2016 The six-year Booysendal South project – the biggest growth project for platinum group metals (PGMs) producer Northam Platinum and accounting for a R4.2-billion chunk of its R5.5-billion growth projects budget – is expected to reach steady-state production of 260 000 t/m in 2022. 

Booysendal South to  reach steady state in 2022
BOOYSENDAL SOUTH The area is contiguous to the Booysendal North mine and is likely to employ up to 2 000 people at full production

Northam Platinum growth projects on track

By: Simone Liedtke     16th December 2016 Platinum producer Northam Platinum’s strategically timed R5.5-billion growth projects are said to be on track, with good planning and sound execution set to enable it to fill any potential increased demand resulting from constrained South African supply. 

Northam Platinum growth projects on track
SUPPLY AND DEMAND The current challenging market conditions and stressed balance sheets are expected to constrain primary supply from South Africa, with global demand to grow

Zondereinde smelter expansion due H2 2017

By: Simone Liedtke     16th December 2016 Work on integrated platinum-group metals (PGMs) producer Northam Platinum’s Zondereinde smelter expansion project to increase the smelter’s capacity remains scheduled for completion by the second half of 2017. The 16-month project started in February and has a R750-million budget, of which, to... 

Cooperation needed to save PGMs industry

By: Simon Sonnekus     19th August 2016 Owing to the lower overall platinum group metals (PGMs) price, platinum producers have started to review opportunities to work together through joint ventures.  

Cooperation needed to save PGMs industry
JEREMY WITELY South African PGM producers are caught between a rock and a hard place because of capital and low share prices, causing their debt to rise

Mining complex refurbished with no major delays

     19th August 2016 Eleven products from specialist chemicals company Sika have been used in the refurbishment of platinum producer Impala Platinum’s (Implats’) Rustenburg operations, a 14-shaft complex in the Bushveld Igneous Complex near Rustenburg, which was completed in June. Since this active platinum... 

Mining complex refurbished with no major delays
NO DELAYS The refurbishment project was carried out under a highly restrictive schedule

Producer has positive platinum outlook

By: Simon Sonnekus     19th August 2016 Platinum-group metals (PGMs) remain a positive investment, as there is improved sentiment in the platinum market, and platinum exchange-traded fund (ETF) prices remained stable in the first half of 2016, states PGMs mining company Anglo American Platinum (Amplats). The company held its interim... 

Producer has positive platinum outlook
MOGALAKWENA Amplats’ flagship Mogalakwena operation provided a record performance, with tonnes milled so far this year increasing by 6% to 208 000 oz

Tyre management project yields positive results for producer

By: Simon Sonnekus     19th August 2016 A tyre management project under way at Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats’) Mogalakwena platinum mine, in the Waterberg district of Limpopo, aims to increase hauling days without tyre failures to improve the operation’s productivity and safety, as well as facilitate financial savings by make... 

Tyre management project yields positive results for producer
DAMAGED TYRES Tyre life is directly affected by the condition of haul roads

Bank provides exposure to locally produced PGMs

By: Dylan Slater     5th February 2016 To complete its suite of available exchange-traded funds (ETFs) across the platinum-group metals (PGMs) space, financial services provider Standard Bank has introduced Africa’s first rhodium-supported ETF, the AfricaRhodium ETF, . The AfricaRhodium ETF, launched in December, is also the second... 

Bank provides exposure to locally produced PGMs
JOHANN ERASMUS Despite the current pressure on global commodity markets, adopting a long-term view on the platinum-group metals pricing cycle remains a sound investment

Platinum demand remains

     5th February 2016 The medium- to long-term outlook for platinum remains positive from a demand point of view, notes integrated business enterprise Mitsubishi Corporation.  

Platinum demand  remains
Photo by Duane Daws
REDUCING EMISSIONS It is unclear yet whether platinum group metals will be included in future catalytic convertors of vehicle’s exhaust systems

Sinvac Mining & Engineering

     5th February 2016 Original-equipment manufacturer Sinvac Mining & Engineering is capable of supplying its South African Bureau of Standards-approved Sinvac Piping Systems not only across South Africa but into other areas of Africa. Piping systems are manufactured, supplied, fabricated and installed by Sinvac... 

Sinvac Mining & Engineering

Stricter emissions regulations boost PGM demand

     5th February 2016 The increasing demand for platinum-group metals (PGMs) is expected to increase in proportion to the greater demand for and increased adoption of catalytic converters for motor vehicles, which is spurred by the international appetite for new vehicles and stricter emissions regulations, says mining... 

Stricter emissions  regulations boost  PGM demand
Photo by Bloomberg
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT Platinum-group metals are key elements used in catalytic converters, which convert exhaust emissions into less harmful compounds

Volatility now plague’s platinum miner’s housing allocation

     5th February 2016 Opposition party the Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow minister of human settlements Makashule Gana conducted a follow-up oversight visit at the Marikana Housing Development Project on January 14 to inspect and assess what local platinum miners are calling maladministration of the housing... 

Volatility now plague’s platinum miner’s housing allocation
DE-ESCALATION The Democratic Alliance wants to alleviate a constant state of tension in Marikana

Embattled producer eyes ramp-up beyond 50 000 t/m

     11th December 2015 Struggling platinum-group metals (PGMs) producer Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s (RBPlat’s) focus during 2016 will be on the enhancement of the ability of Styldrift, in Rustenburg, in the North West, to ramp up beyond 50 000 t/m, despite the volatile platinum market conditions. This will be done by... 

Embattled producer eyes ramp-up beyond 50 000 t/m
WORK IN PROGRESS The development and construction of ventilation shaft No 1, silo 2 and appropriate workshop infrastructure at Styldrift is being advanced during the second half of 2015

Maintenance stressed when facing tough market

By: Bruce Montiea     11th December 2015 With the platinum sector currently battling because of low platinum prices, miners are forced to deal with tight budget constraints and are, therefore, unwilling or unable to spend money on attending to problems, such as the maintenance or replacement of transfer points, says specialist transfer... 

Maintenance  stressed when facing tough market
Photo by Bloomberg
VOLATILE MARKET STRUGGLES Platinum miners lucky enough to continue their operations are finding it difficult to obtain capital to maintain their projects

Platinum major eyes clean power expansion opportunities

By: Bruce Montiea     11th December 2015 Platinum miner Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) could increase the capacity of clean power production at its Waterval smelting complex in Rustenburg, in the North West, which might result in an investment similar to the new R150-million Eternity Power Thermal Harvesting plant to create cleaner... 

Platinum major eyes clean power expansion opportunities
POWER PLATINUM PROJECT Anglo American Platinum is supplementing its energy demands through an Eternity Power Thermal Harvesting plant

Diesel vehicles to play big role in future platinum demand

By: Dylan Stewart     21st August 2015 The future demand for platinum-group metals (PGMs) will largely be rooted in the automotive industry, where PGMs are used to make catalytic converters and platinum to produce autocatalysts for diesel engines, says Japanese trading company Mitsubishi Corporation precious metals strategist Jonathan... 

Fuel cells used at Eastern Cape schools

     21st August 2015 Hydrogen fuel cell technology has been used successfully to provide standby power at three schools in Cofimvaba, in the Eastern Cape, since September 2014, mining major Anglo American announced in June. 

Load-shedding results in production losses

By: Dylan Stewart     21st August 2015 Stage 3 electricity load curtailments have cost midtier platinum-group metals (PGMs) producer Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) a total of 34 hours of milling time, translating into about 13 000 t of lost production, during the six months ended June 30, the company said upon the release of its... 

Lonmin affirms Farlam report

     21st August 2015 Platinum miner Lonmin has given the Farlam Commission of Enquiry’s report into the August 2012 events at Marikana, in the North West, its detailed consideration and has taken full account of the recommendations applicable to the company, Lonmin said. 

Mine shaft reaches 803 m

By: Dylan Stewart     21st August 2015 The main shaft at platinum miner Wesizwe Platinum’s Bakubung platinum mine, in the North West, has been sunk to 803 m below collar and has reached the brow of the 81 level station, says Wesizwe Platinum GM Eddie Mohlabi. 

Platinum company and union reach agreement

By: Dylan Stewart     21st August 2015 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) signed a substantive three-year wage agreement with platinum producer Northam Platinum last month at the company’s Zondereinde mine, in Limpopo. 

Trollope Mining Services

     21st August 2015 Trollope Mining Services (TMS) is a Level 4 broad-based black economic-empowerment- (BBBEE-) rated company providing opencast mining, crushing and screening, and rehabilitation services. The company, established in 1975, boasts a substantial fleet of equipment and operates in the coal, platinum,... 

Trollope Mining Services

Unyielding platinum dip forces miners to cut costs

By: Dylan Stewart     21st August 2015 Owing to weakened demand for platinum, the platinum price, currently at a six-year low of about $980/oz, is not expected to rise significantly in the near future, says geology and mineral resources consulting services provider  

Unyielding platinum dip forces  miners to cut costs
LOW COST Amplat's Mogalakwena mine

Expansion project making steady progress

     31st July 2015 Steady progress has been made on all mining and infrastructure construction-related activities at platinum miner Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s (RBPlat’s) Styldrift I expansion project, in the North West. Steady-state production is expected in the first quarter of 2019, and will boost RBPlat’s... 

PFS provides guidance for platinum project

     31st July 2015 As of February this year, development work on the Platreef project, owned by Ivanhoe Mines, focused on the Shaft No 1 sinking programme, which is expected to be covered by existing dedicated working capital. The project is situated in Limpopo and is funded by an investment of $280-million made by... 

Platinum mine to complete shaft sinking in October

By: Kimberley Smuts     31st July 2015 Wesizwe Platinum’s Bakubung mine, in the North West, remains on track to complete shaft sinking in October, after which commissioning will start. The main shaft is currently 25 m away from bottom level, while the ventilation shaft is 45 m away from bottom level. Both shafts are expected to reach... 

Platinum mine to complete shaft sinking in October
ACCORDING TO PLAN Main shaft stripping and commissioning at Wesizwe's Bakubung mine is expected to start in November 2015

Platinum projects well under way 

By: Kimberley Smuts     31st July 2015 Platinum group metals (PGMs) producer Sylvania Platinum’s project portfolio includes four hotspots on the northern limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex that have been identified as prospective platinum, palladium and gold targets (PGM 3E), together with copper (Cu) and nickel (Ni) deposits. Each... 

Platinum projects  well under way

Bakubung closes 2014 with another milestone

     6th February 2015 JSE-listed Wesizwe Platinum reached another milestone at its flagship Bakubung platinum mine project, in the North West, in December last year, despite facing labour tensions in the platinum belt during 2014. Continual progress was made in sinking the main and ventilation shafts at the project,... 

Further platinum wage strikes unlikely – law firm

By: David Oliveira     6th February 2015 It is unlikely that there will be further strike action over wages and working conditions in the South African platinum sector this year, as the agreements reached by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and the country’s top platinum producers last year are valid for a... 

Further platinum wage strikes unlikely – law firm
Photo by Duane Daws
NO STRIKES FOR 2015? Any strikes over wages and working conditions in the platinum sector before 2017 will be unprotected

Mechanisation, automation only answer

By: David Oliveira     6th February 2015 Mining companies should consider more carefully the way in which they operate to ensure that mineworkers are out of harm’s way, says resource consultancy VCI partner Gideon Malherbe, adding that embracing new and better mining methods, particularly mechanisation and automation, is the only real... 

Mechanisation, automation only answer
MOGALAKWENA The mine is the lowest-cost producer of platinum-group metals in the world, generating an operating-free cash flow of R10-billion over 5.5 years
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